“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Halifax in Halifax County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)

Burgess Law Office

Burgess Law Office Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, November 30, 2020
1. Burgess Law Office Marker
For many years, this structure was known as the “Constitution House” because it was thought to be where North Carolina’s Fifth Provincial Congress met in December 1776 to create the first state constitution. However, research and archaeology conducted in the 1970s indicate that the building actually postdates the eighteenth century.

The house was built about 1806 and originally used as a residence. In 1821 Thomas Burgess, an attorney and nineteenth-century Halifax politician purchased it and probably used it as his law office until 1836, when he died.

In 1916 the Elizabeth Montfort Ashe Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution of Halifax purchased , relocated, and restored the structure. In 1923 it was presented to the North Carolina Society, D.A.R. The D.A.R. donated the house , along with the property where it was standing, to the State of North Carolina. In 1975 the state moved the building back to its original location here.

An article from the September 2, 1825 Halifax Free Press about an assault at the Burgess law office. Robert Potter, a friend and former
Burgess Law Office Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, November 30, 2020
2. Burgess Law Office Marker
law student of Burgess, was a candidate for the House of Commons in the election of 1825. He and his rival, Jesse Bynum, engaged in a bitter and sometimes violent campaign. On election day in 1825, a street fight broke out, which resulted in the election being cancelled and Halifax being without a representative to the House of Commons that year.

Reconstructed in the new location, circa 1938. Francis Benjamin Johnston Collection, Library of Congress.

A post card showing the structure in major disrepair, 1913. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

An archeological survey in 1965 uncovered the original chimney bases and foundations, but no 18th-centuryartifacts were found.

Halifax Day ceremonies, 1967. Durham Morning Herald April 13, 1967.

Due to the deteriorated condition of the house, only the heavy timbers and brick from the building were purchased by the D.A.R. in 1916 for $40.

The building rolls past the Owens House on the way back to its original location, 1975.

Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Buildings.
Location. 36° 19.764′ N, 77° 35.236′ W. Marker is in Halifax, North Carolina, in Halifax County. Marker is on King Street south of Market Street, on the left when traveling
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south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Halifax NC 27839, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Market Green (within shouting distance of this marker); The Free Church of Halifax (within shouting distance of this marker); The Old Town of Halifax (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Tap Room (about 400 feet away); Eagle Tavern (about 400 feet away); Early American Taverns (about 400 feet away); Halifax Colonial Jails (about 500 feet away); Halifax Courthouse (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Halifax.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 14, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 9, 2020, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 23 times since then. Photos:   1. submitted on December 9, 2020, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida.   2. submitted on December 13, 2020, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 8, 2021